Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lean Principles and Agile-Aren't they same

The Five key principles of Lean are identified as Value, Value Stream, Flow, Pull, Perfection. Agile principles depicts the key aspects of giving highest priority to customer, better collaboration at all levels, working software as primary measure and other aspects. Details mentioned in previous post:
http://thinkinginagile.blogspot.com/2011/03/agile-manifesto.html.
Aren't Lean and Agile two names for the same thing?
Well, Lean and Agile share the same goals. The practices that make up the various agile methodologies also support the lean principles. In fact Lean takes a wider view of the entire business context in which the software development is done. Lean considers Agile software development as supporting practices for Lean Software development.

Value
Value is defined by the customer. We must understand what is really considered as value from the customer's perspective.
Value Stream
Once the value is identified, we need to create a series of steps or processes to produce the product. This is also called the Value Stream. Each Step is either categorized as value-added , non value added but necessary, or non value added waste (which can be actually removed)
Flow
The development process must be designed in such a way that the step of activities should flow continuously. If the value chain stops at any point then it is evident that some waste is getting produced.
Pull
Let customer pull the value. It means that we don't start developing until it is really required. Decide as late as possible to develop anything.
Perfection
Continuously identify areas were waste can be removed and the step of activities can be made perfect.

References
The Art of Lean Software Development - Curt Hibbs, Steve Jewett & Mike Sullivan

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